Faculty committees and student representation

Samantha Cooper

News Editor

The student government at Goucher recently was re-named and re-organized into the Goucher Student Government (GSG). While the reaction to the new government has been mixed, it’s important to note that it is made up of many committees, each with its own purpose, and the majority of which most students are unaware of. Many of the committees are made up of both staff and student members who strive to do what they believe is best for Goucher College.

One of the committees is the Faculty Committee, which is comprised of two smaller committees: the Academic Policy Committee and the Curriculum Committee. The Academic Policy Committee deals with anything to do with admissions, financial aid, class schedules, and records, though according to Chair of Faculty Committee, Scott Sibley, the committee has been focusing on “schedules and credit loads.” The Curriculum Committee is responsible for “approving new courses, changes to existing majors, minors and programs, proposals for new majors,” according to Provost Marc Roy, who is one of the staff members of the Curriculum Committee. The Committee is also responsible for approving courses for L.E.R. requirements that aren’t taken at Goucher that may not be a clear substitute. This is particularly true for students who are trying to fulfill L.E.R. while they are studying abroad.

The Academic Policies Committee has eight members and currently doesn’t have any students serving, but normally has two student representatives. The Curriculum Committee has nine members, two of which are student members. This year, the serving students are Samuel Kessler ’16 and Hannah Painter ’17. Kessler has served on the committee since his freshman year, while this is Painter’s first year on the committee. Last year, Kessler was the only representative.

Students on the committees used to be chosen by the SGA, but since the change in the government, there seems to have been issues in finding new students. Kessler explained that he personally selected Painter to be the second student on the committee, as he is going abroad next semester and did not want to leave the committee without a student representative. “I would love for all committees to be as diverse as possible. I picked somebody as different from me as I could,” Kessler explained. Painter, is indeed his opposite. Kessler is a male, humanities student in his junior year while Painter is a female math major in her sophomore year. He also chose her, also because he wanted to be able to represent as many student views at Goucher as he could.

GSG has not been as proactive in finding students to cover the spots in the committees as the former SGA had. According to Kessler, the SGA sent out an e-mail during his freshman year asking any interested students to send an email. This year, no such e-mail was sent out, so Kessler had to do it on his own.
Painter wasn’t aware of the committee’s existence until Kessler told her about the open position, but she said, “it was really cool to be involved” with the staff on the committee. She talked about her very first meeting where one of the topics of discussion was adding a new class to the curriculum, whether it was a good idea to add more classes, and if it was necessary.

Information on the committees is rather difficult to find. The single website dedicated to the committees is outdated, and the staff members of the committee didn’t know about who the students on the committee were. The names of the faculty members on the committees were difficult to find as well. A student who is curious about how the college works would be hard-pressed to find information on them without e-mailing several staff members and members of the GSG.

When asked why they thought this, Kessler said, “The only reason for students to know about this [the Curriculum Committee] is for them to know about the L.E.R. they need fulfilled. Sibley said he believed it simply wasn’t a thing that crosses many students’ minds, “When I was a student, I had no idea of the faculty committees at my schools too.”

Roy agreed with the statement and stated that “It wasn’t part of my life.” All involved would like to see more students getting involved with the committees as the suggestions would help them decide what students at Goucher would like and need most.

Both faculty members would also like students to know that professors are required to be on a committee and they all take their roles “very seriously.” Roy, is on several of the committees at Goucher including the Budget-Planning Committee, the Faculty Committee and has a representative on the Academic Policies Committee. Sibley is also the chair on the Faculty Committee.

SGA committee rewrites constitution, prepares for student vote

Jessica Gude
Staff Writer

In the last few days of January term, the Student Government Association (SGA) Constitutional Committee met to rewrite the SGA constitution. The group of 13 students was formed last fall after members of the student assembly expressed problems with the constitution. The committee gathered feedback and made major changes to the constitution. The structure of the senate, the class council, election procedures, and the name of the student government have undergone a near-complete transformation. The new form of student government is called Goucher Student Government (GSG).
Complaints about the old constitution and the old student government were wide ranging. Many students felt a lack of communication and connection to government processes. More specifically, students expressed a lack of transparency between students, student government officers, administration, and faculty. For example, Senate positions were only granted to clubs, leaving those students not involved without a voice.
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SGA is moving forward; students’ voices are heard

Jonathan Trauner
Staff Writer

Over the course of the past several weeks, Goucher’s Student Government Association (SGA) has undergone major transformations. First, Hayim Wolf ‘14 and Todd Troester ‘15 reached an agreement that instituted the Goucher Student Assembly, which will allow all students to voice impending SGA concerns and participate in SGA’s constitutional revision.
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Impeachment process stalls as Senate becomes Student Assembly

Samuel Kessler
News Editor

In a sudden reversal, Todd Troester ’15 and his peers who requested the impeachment SGA President Hayim Wolf ’14 withdrew their letter of impeachment  and called

Todd Troester with SGA President Hayim Wolf presenting their new plan for SGA . (Photo: Christopher Riley)

Todd Troester with SGA President Hayim Wolf presenting their new plan for SGA . (Photo: Christopher Riley)

for support of Wolf at the Sunday, September 29 student government meeting.
Rumors that the impeachment process had stalled circulated campus most of the preceding week, but until the meeting of the reformed senate began, it was unclear what conditions led to the change. The confusion heightened when an email reminding the student body of senate announcing that “the meeting will look past the impeachment process.”
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SGA suspends senate, calls for constitutional convention

Jaclyn Peiser
Editor-in-Chief

In an email sent to the student body on Tuesday night, the Student Government Association explained their decision to suspend senate meetings until spring semester.
“Senate hasn’t met this semester because of a serious issue with the constitution,” read the email. “The current constitution (modified last spring) requires the election of house representatives at the beginning of the Fall semester. However, this semester we discovered that it was impossible to hold those elections for a number of reasons.”
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Staff responsibilities, jobs shift in wake of changes

Rachel Brustein
Staff Writer

With a new academic year upon us, the Goucher community has both said farewell to and welcomed in several employees. Those leaving include Kia Kuresman, Mary Wahl, Kasey Quinn, Wendy Belzer Litzke, and Norman Zwagil.
Kuresman, who was the director of new student programs, left to work at National Labor College. She will be greatly missed by many students, especially those on Goucher’s orientation committee.
“I was sad that Kia was leaving,” said Lenna Blaser ‘14 Chair of Orientation Committee. “But after hearing about her new job I realized what a great opportunity it was for her and her career.”
No one has been hired to fill the position; instead, her responsibilities have been split up between various members of the Office of Student Engagement (OSE).
Kuresman’s departure was “a big change…but Christine [Kreiger, of OSE] performed better than we could’ve imagined” said Maddie Lasser  ’16, a member of Orientation Committee.
Two members of OSE have been promoted: Emily Perl and Stacy Cooper Patterson. Perl, formerly the associate dean for student engagement, has been promoted to assistant vice president for student life. As part of her new position, Perl works closely with Vice President of the College and Dean of Students Bryan Coker. Together, the two oversee the Division of Student Life, which has seven offices. One of these offices, Multicultural Student Services, is one that Perl is hoping to expand through diversity education, and inclusion.
Perl is still “very committed [to Connections]…and makes sure we [the Peer Facilitators] have what we need for Connections,” said Emily Hewlings ’16, a Connections Peer Facilitator. Perl continues to run the Connections course for first-year students, and is responsible for hiring and training all of the Peer Facilitators.
Stacy Cooper Patterson has been promoted from associate director of OSE for leadership development to director of OSE. In this position, Patterson oversees the planning of late night and weekend events, orientation and new student programs, and works with Lindsay Johnson, associate director of community service. Billy Daly, president of the class of 2016, mentioned that Patterson wants to implement a weekly class presidents’ meeting.
OSE is “a group force, so we come into contact with everyone,” even though there has been a shift in positions and responsibilities among the staff, according to Lasser, who is also a member of Programming Board.
Outside of OSE, Mary Wahl and Kasey Quinn, both former community living coordinators, left to pursue graduate degrees. Timothy Chin is also no longer at Goucher. To replace them, the Office of Community Living has hired two new coordinators, Tony Leva and Brandon Ebenhoeh.  Another new employee, Lindy Bobbitt, is serving as the assistant director of Community Living now that Candance Doane has been promoted to director of Community Living.
Wendy Belzer Litzke, former special assistant to President Sandy Ungar and vice president for government and community relations, left Goucher to become the executive director of the Orphan Society of America, which is located in the Philadelphia area. Litzke worked at Goucher since 2004. Goucher alumnus William O. Lederer ‘12 replaces her as special assistant to the president.
Norman Zwagil, who was the general manager of Bon Appetit at Goucher, left for the same position at Johns Hopkins. Last spring, President Ungar sent an email announcing Zwagil’s departure, which included a kind letter from Zwagil to the Goucher community. As a result, Tom Brown, who had been the operations director of Bon Appetit at Goucher, has been promoted to the new general manager.
Two other employees join the Goucher Family. Andrew Wu is the new assistant dean of students, a position that was vacant last year. The Athletic Department welcomes Ceri Miller as the new head coach of women’s lacrosse.  While there are many changes in administration, these shifts will allow the strong staff and student leadership at Goucher to continue and grow at the college.

Academic Internship Fee Set to Start in Summer 2013

Benjamin Snyder
Managing and News Editor

President Sanford Ungar sent an email to the Goucher community on Dec. 19 announcing a fee for academic internships, which carry typically three to four credits, at $450 per credit. The new fee will be implemented beginning summer 2013.

According to Student Government Association (SGA) President Dashell Fittry ’13, “Sandy is slated to speak to Senate, the tentative date is Feb. 20th. Once that date is confirmed, an email will be sent to the student body talking more in depth about the policy and about Sandy attending Senate.”

In his email, Ungar wrote, “After careful consideration, we have determined that students should pay for the academic credits they receive while attending Goucher regardless of how such credits are earned, and have therefore decided to make a change to our internship credit policy.”

The choice to charge students $450, according to Ungar, was reached as it “is the same amount currently charged for students taking courses during the summer.”

According to Laurie Burton-Graham, Goucher’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, the decision to attach a cost to academic internships taking place during summer, winter, or when a student is taking over the 18-credit limit during the academic year, was reached by members of senior staff. “I can’t remember if it was brought up to college council or not to be honest, but I know senior staff spent a lot of time talking about it,” she said.

Burton-Graham continued that the discussion began at the start of the academic year in the fall and the college’s Vice Presidents made a formal recommendation to Ungar in November ahead of his Dec. 19 email.

Traci Martin, the Director of the Career Development Office (CDO), said that conversations about charging for academic internship credits have taken place “for years.” She continued, “We have been asked in the last couple years to do some research and benchmarking with our peer institutions. We were having conversations with [former] Vice President and Dean of Students [Gail] Edmonds and [Provost] Marc Roy about what exists, providing numbers, how many students get credit.”

In the email, Ungar cited reasons for the additional fee. “We anticipate that the additional income to the college, while helpful, will be limited,” he wrote. “Rather, the policy of charging fairly for all academic credits received is one that honors the value of a Goucher education and, ultimately, a Goucher degree.”

Burton-Graham mirrored Ungar’s opinion, saying, “Charging for credits is standard practice and it’s good practice and it’s practice at most of our peer institutions. In fact, it’s practiced at most higher education institutions.” She continued, “It says something of a value of a Goucher degree and a Goucher education.”

She later added, “This isn’t a huge windfall for the college, it’s more about the principle.”

Although further discussions about where the money will be placed is likely to continue, Burton-Graham said, “I think the decision to charge the fee is done. I would be very surprised if Sandy is going to revisit that decision.”

After students received Ungar’s email, a Facebook group was created, titled, “Gophers Against New Policies,” which drew over 400 students. Said Fittry, “It is nice to see the students so passionate about an issue, but as with many ‘campaigns’ on Facebook, the students lose interest and the group dies off. This happened to this group within a week.”

Instead, Fittry hopes students will email their SGA representatives to voice concerns in the future. He explained, “Over 400 people joined the group, but only 16, [or] 4% of the group, people took the initiative to contact me personally which says something about the effectiveness of online campaigns like the one that was launched for this policy change.”

According to Martin, the first cycle of students getting internships in the summer will prove helpful as the discussion moves forward. “I don’t think this is the end of it,” she said. “I think we’ll need to continue to look at what the departments will do, the choices students will make.”

While Fittry said he personally “doesn’t have a problem with the policy,” he continued, “as SGA President, it is my duty to address the concerns of the student body which I have done and which will be further discussed at Senate with President Ungar.” He continued, “I think once the student body gets all the facts and understands the policy a bit more they will come to agree with me that this policy makes sense and is going to be beneficial to the campus.”

Martin believes the first summer of internships with the fee will be telling. “We’re really just going to have to go through a cycle this summer and see what happens and evaluate it and adjust as best we can,” she said

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